How to play

How to play the E6 chord on guitar

Learn to play the E6 chord, featured in hits like "Wonderwall" and "Sweet Home Alabama."

The E6 chord

The E6 chord, pronounced "E sixth," is a jazzy and sophisticated variation of the standard E major chord. It adds a sixth note (C#) to the triad, creating a rich and complex sound. This chord is commonly used in jazz, R&B, and soul music to add flavor and interest to progressions. Notable songs featuring the E6 chord include "Just the Two of Us" by Bill Withers.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common E6 chord. We've also included other versions below.

Hero Image

Unlock your playing potential in online guitar lessons with experts on Til. Start today and achieve your guitar goals quickly. Find a top-rated teacher.

Finger placement for E6 chord

The E6 chord is typically played on the 7th fret of the guitar as a barre chord.

Follow these finger positions to play a E6 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 7th fret, barring all six strings.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 9th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.

Strum all six strings together in a downward motion, starting from the lowest (thickest) string to the highest (thinnest) string, to play the E6 chord.

How to play an easy E6 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the E6 chord, try playing an open E chord (E major) and adding your pinky finger to the 2nd fret of the 4th (D) string. This way, you only need to use three fingers and don't have to worry about playing a barre chord.

How to play a E6 bar chord

The E6 chord is typically played as an open chord, but learning the barre chord version can be useful for transitioning to other chords or playing in different positions on the fretboard.

Here's how to play a E6 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 7th fret, covering all six strings (barre).
  2. Place your middle finger on the 9th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from low to high.

Common E6 chord progressions

The E6 chord is often used in progressions to add a dreamy, nostalgic, or bittersweet feeling to a song. Some common chord progressions featuring E6 include:

  • I - vi - IV - V (E6 - C#m7 - A - B7) - Used in "Crazy" by Willie Nelson and "Crying" by Roy Orbison
  • I - vi - ii - V (E6 - C#m7 - F#m7 - B7) - Used in "Memories" by Maroon 5
  • I - iii - IV - V (E6 - G#m7 - A - B7)
  • I - vi - II - V (E6 - C#m7 - F#7 - B7)
  • I - IV - V - IV (E6 - A - B7 - A)

Drills to master the E6 chord

To master the E6 chord, try playing each note individually, focusing on clean execution. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between E6 and other chords you know. Strum patterns are also crucial; start with simple downstrokes, then incorporate upstrokes and rhythmic variations.

Another effective drill is to play the E6 chord in different positions along the fretboard. This builds fretboard familiarity and enhances your understanding of the chord's voicing. Experiment with different fingerings to find what feels most natural for you.

Unlock your playing potential in online guitar lessons with experts on Til. Start today and achieve your guitar goals quickly. Find a top-rated teacher.

Tom G.

"Quist is excellent at providing motivation to practice. My family, friends, and bandmates commented that my guitar playing, timing, and phrasing all improved."

Songs that feature the E6 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the E6 chord.

  1. Hold On, We're Going Home by Drake (E6, Amaj7, Fm7, Cm7)
  2. Save Room by John Legend (E6, C#m7, F#m7, A6, B7, Amaj7)
  3. No One by Alicia Keys (E6, C#m7, Amaj7, B7sus4)
  4. Redbone by Childish Gambino (E6, G#7, C#m7, F#7, B6)
  5. Lover by Taylor Swift (E6, C#m7, Amaj7, B7sus4)
  6. Best Part by Daniel Caesar ft. H.E.R. (E6, C#m7, A6, B7sus4)
  7. Earned It by The Weeknd (E6, C#m7, A6, B7)
  8. Tadow by FKJ & Masego (E6, F#m7, B7, C#m7)
  9. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer (E6, F#m7, A6, B7sus4)
  10. Blessed by Daniel Caesar (E6, C#m7, F#m7, B7sus4)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

You can find expert guitar teachers to support you in the journey. Thousands of people have turned to online guitar lessons on Til, instead of traditional in-person lessons, because Til gives you access to the best teachers in the world from the comfort of home. And with flexible scheduling, secure payments, lesson recordings, and a private chat with your teacher–there’s never been a better way to learn guitar.

Learn guitar all over the world